Part XI of our series on Doing Good
In our last post, we noted how the gold standard for Christian giving is purpose. So every month we should be praying, “God, how may I be a part of your giving this month?” That’s a very different question than, “God, how may you be a part of my giving this month?”
It’s God’s money, and you are God’s instrument. Never get that backwards!
So this is why at .W Church we collect the offering monthly instead of weekly. Each of us needs to be purposing what to give, not deciding at the last minute.
Throughout the month, each of us is disbursing the 70% of our offering that has been entrusted back to us and practicing the Works of Mercy we’ve learned about. As we pray daily and meet daily in family worship, we ask God and one another, “What should we be giving this month? What is God doing around us? How is he asking us to join him in that giving?”
We also conduct our “AAR” (After Action Review), asking each person or family to answer the following four questions about the giving they did for the month.
We don’t ask, “Did you tithe?” Because someone could tithe and still not give with purpose. And for most Christians (the ones who, for example, are not homeless or hungry), the tithe should be the minimum they give, not the maximum.
(And Christians who are poor should still give generously, by the way. You’ll see in the Scriptures that God uses the gifts of the poor to accomplish his most important work, whether it’s the widow feeding Elijah or the boy giving Jesus the fish and loaves. Everyone should give, sharing whatever they have. Everyone.)
So the four questions you should ask each person each month in each .W group are these:
Step 1: What was the intent of your gift last month? In other words, why did you make that gift? How did you decide to do it? What were you seeking to mirror about God’s character through your giving?
Step 2: What happened? Why? What are the implications?
Step 3: What lessons did you learn?
Step 4: Now what? In other words, how will you give differently—or more, or the same, or to a different person, or to the same person, or whatever—in the future?
It doesn’t matter if their giving was $0.05 or $50,000 for the month. We need to ask these four questions to each person each month as a means of accountability and as a means of helping them to grow.
Do not fail to be diligent in asking each member these questions each month. Few things can help members grow more than asking these questions. Few things can prevent members from growing than neglecting to ask questions like these.
Have you ever incorporated questions like these into your giving? If so, how do you feel they helped? What other questions would you add to this list?